At the end of each month, Land of 10 will take a look at how the Cornhuskers performed according to our to-do list published at the beginning of the month. This evaluation focuses on the three priority concerns for the program’s recruiting efforts during the last four weeks. Here’s how the Huskers did in November.
Coaching staff changes
The November recruiting to-do list has to be taken with a grain of salt since Mike Riley and his staff have been relieved of their duties, save for several recruiting staffers and interim coach Trent Bray.
With that said, the former staff never gave up on the recruiting trail. Let’s get to the results.
1. Create stability in 2018 recruiting class
The November to-do list was published right after the de-commitment of Brendan Radley-Hiles, a significant blow to the 2018 recruiting class. But the staff excelled in their efforts to keep the majority of the class together for most of the month. On Nov. 24, 4-star athlete Chase Williams announced his de-commitment. Other than that, the Huskers currently have the remaining nine on board.
The fact of the matter is that the number of de-commits could be much higher. Look around at other programs that have experienced de-commitments en masse. Only two such decisions with a coaching staff on the hot seat, and eventually fired, is a win.
2. Find a quarterback — for this year or next
The former coaching staff did not make many strides in this area. Bart Harris from Belton, Mo., has been a preferred walk-on commit in this class, but Riley couldn’t reel in a scholarship recruit at the position in this class.
That doesn’t mean he didn’t try. With nearly all of the top quarterback recruits across the country pledged to other schools, the coaching staff attempted to flip commitments of several prospects. For example, Riley checked out 3-star Spencer Petras and 3-star Jake Dukart, both of whom are Oregon State commits. Jace Ruder, a 3-star North Carolina commit, also got an extended look from Riley.
2019 quarterback Max Duggan remained high on the Huskers board and should be a priority recruit for the next coaching staff. According to the 247Sports composite rankings, the 4-star prospect is the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in the country in his class.
Still, Nebraska’s quarterback outlook, at least throughout November, remained bleak.
3. Formulate backup plans for worst-case scenarios
For members of the former coaching staff, the worst-case scenario became a reality: They lost their jobs. The backup plans, though, seem to be in place. Although Nebraska is not on the road recruiting this week, like many other teams, Bray and the remaining support staff are hard at work to assuage the concerns of current commits.
Moreover, the staff is working to make sure the new group can come in and start working right away, providing a smooth transition that will allow those coaches a chance to salvage this recruiting class and build on it in anticipation of the early signing period (Dec. 20-22). If they are not able to bring in high-end prospects, then lists of lower-ranked prospects need to be ready to go.
All in all, preparing for the worst seems to have paid off here. Credit goes to Bill Moos’ leadership and the leftover staff.
Stay tuned for when we release our December recruiting to-do list on Friday.
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